Southsea man, 23, fighting in Syria for Al-Qaeda group

CONTROL ISIS, the group Ifthekar Jaman is fighting for, took over the Syrian city of Raqqa in May
CONTROL ISIS, the group Ifthekar Jaman is fighting for, took over the Syrian city of Raqqa in May

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A MAN from Southsea has travelled to Syria to fight for a group connected to Al-Qaeda.

Ifthekar Jaman, 23, said he is fighting with the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) and it is taking part in jihad – a war fought by Muslims to spread their beliefs – in Syria.

He said the group wants to establish a caliphate, a state based on Islamic religious law, adding it was his ‘duty’ to do so as Muslims were ‘being slaughtered’.

Jaman told the BBC: ‘I am ISIS. This is the group I am with. We are trying to establish the law of God, the law of Allah.

‘This is the duty on me... all these people are suffering. Muslims are being slaughtered.’

He added: ‘God says he’ll bring the best believers here.

‘Everyone from anywhere around the world comes here, everybody, Australia, Finland, Italian, you’ve got every place really.

‘There is (sic) many Europeans around here and they’ve all understood the message, they’ve all understood exactly what the situation is here.’

When asked if he thought Britain should be run under Sharia – Islamic law – he refused to answer but said: ‘It’s the best religion for mankind.’

But he denied ISIS is a terrorist group.

Jaman said: ‘Terrorists don’t open schools, places for educating children, they don’t fund kids, they don’t fund families.’

It is unclear where Mr Jaman is in Syria, according to BBC Newsnight, which interviewed him via an internet video call.

But it understands Mr Jaman left the UK in spring.

His family originally come from Bangladesh. It is understood more men from Portsmouth are in Syria.

Mr Jaman’s brother, Mustakim understands why Ifthekar wanted to join the jihad in Syria.

He added that his brother was radicalised over a long time.

Mustakim said: ‘If he dies in his cause, then he’s not died in vain, has he? He’s doing a good deed.

‘He was always trying harder and harder to practise (Islam).

‘He was always trying to be as strict as he can, he wanted to be the best Muslim.’

ISIS took control of Raqqa, in Syria, in May. It marked the victory by killing three men who were Alawites – the same sect President Bashar al-Assad belongs to.

Activists who have since left the city say any of ISIS’s opponents have been attacked. Alcohol sales have also been banned and women have been made to wear Islamic clothing.

Ifthekar said he would not be coming back to the UK.

He has posted messages on Twitter before and after he left for Syria. One showed he was interested in Anwar Awlaki, an Islamic preacher who encouraged followers to launch attacks on Western targets.

He was killed in Yemen in 2011.